While often overshadowed by Street Fighter, Darkstalkers is a pioneer to the Fighting genre. Although it’s missing the original Darkstalkers title, Darkstalkers Resurrection covers the HD re-release compilation of ‘Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge’ and ‘Darkstalkers 3’. This nostalgic release does not disappoint it’s unique cult following nor new fans to the series. Which is good because it still holds up.
Darkstalkers is a 2D sprite-based fighting game that features a variety of vibrant characters based on various kinds of horror themed creatures, from cat-girls to succubi. Darkstalkers saw an inclusion of a number of game mechanics which had never been used before, including airborne blocking, counter reversals and of course the well-known chain combo. All of these elements are perfectly preserved and on display for all.
The game itself is simple, choose a mode of gameplay, select a game speed and your desired character, then beat the stuffing out of your opposition in pixelated glory. Each fight is standard fare. They consist of two rounds with a third in the occurrence of a draw. If you lose, you have the option to select another character and retry from your current placement.
What changes these fights up are side-screen challenges which give you additional objectives, such as performing a particular special move a certain number of times to clearing Arcade mode without continuing. Clearing these challenges gives you experience to level up your profile.
Newcomers to Capcom’s unique fighting style needn’t fret. As expected the game incorporates a ‘training mode’ where you can learn how to perform each move, including timing for maximum effect.
Resurrection’s robust online multiplayer mode is definitely where you get your money’s worth. On top of standard quick matches and ranked matches, you can also join or host your own tournaments and filter matchmaking options to suit your tastes or skill level, region and even ping. As well as being able to create eight-player lobbies there is also the option where you can ban as many as five characters should you feel completely overwhelmed.
You can also view player uploaded match replays online to see how other players are matching up, or if you wish to you can upload your own saved replays directly to YouTube.
Resurrection is exactly what it promises to be, a high definition remake of a classic title. It manages to retain the look and feeling of what can only be described as nostalgia from its original release. The visuals are tweaked just enough to appreciate the upgrade, without making drastic or unnecessary changes.
In addition there are a variety of ‘filters’ and viewing modes which can sharpen or smooth the in game sprites, add scan lines and more allowing you to completely customise your gaming experience.
The movement of the game’s animation, while it might not seem like much of a struggle, is truly a credit to the effort that has gone into its re-release. Character animations are wonderfully fluid, and are not compromised at the slightest when playing both online and in turbo mode.
The classic soundtrack continues with its distinct arcade-like audio, encompassing both upbeat melodies with a perceptible horror vibe and the character voices which still having the same original grunts and shouts they had previously. Whether or not this is a positive inclusion is irrelevant, as it perfectly fits the games over all look and feel.
As mentioned previously, the value associated with the game is exceptionally high. You will get what you paid for, and more. The addition of the online multiplayer mode adds hours of enjoyment both as a solo player, and with friends. While the arcade mode is simple, it’s great to pick up and play both as a main title and when you feel like beating up mythological creatures to pass the time.
Darkstalkers Resurrection is the embodiment of everything a HD remake of a game should be. It stays true to its original gameplay and audio with the clever addition of aspects which prolong the game’s play time and overall value without compromising the game’s nostalgia.
AAG SCORE: 8/10
+ Upgraded graphics which remain true to original style
+ In game options allow for a fully customizable experience
+ Multiplayer mode and in-game challenges add to shelf life
– Missing the original Darkstalkers title